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South Asian textile & garment industry on new path in 2014
04
Jan '14
The countries of the Indian sub-continent—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka—are all embracing different paths for the development of their textile and apparel industry. While India is expected to focus on its domestic retail apparel market in 2014, Pakistan would try to get maximum benefit from its EU GSP Plus status. Bangladesh would like to move forward in attaining self-sufficiency in cotton production and improving safety and working conditions in garment factories. Sri Lanka would aim at increasing its share in China’s high-end apparel market.
 
The textile and apparel industry in India contributes about 12 percent to the country’s total manufacturing output. The 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) plans to create about 3 million direct jobs during the plan period in the country’s textile and clothing industry.
 
However, in 2014, the country is likely to focus on expanding domestic retail market. Menswear retail market size in the country is estimated to cross US$ 16 billion mark in 2014. Secondly, retailers would look forward to increase their online sales of apparel products, which are still mediocre, compared to other countries with equal Internet penetration.
 
In Pakistan, the textile and garment sector contributes over 50 percent to the country’s total export earnings and accounts for nearly 40 percent of all industrial jobs in the country. The onset of year 2014 has brought good news in the form of the implementation of the EU Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), which allows duty-free entry to most of the Pakistani textile and apparel products in the EU member states. However, restoration of normal energy supplies to the textile industry, especially in the Punjab province, is a pre-requisite for benefitting the most from the GSP+.
 
With about 5,000 manufacturing units that together employ about 4 million people, Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry accounts for nearly 80 percent of the country’s total export earnings. The year 2014 is expected to witness further improvements in working conditions in the country’s garment factories, under the supervision of various organizations, including the International Labour Organization (ILO).
 
But, to an extent, 2014 will decide how far Bangladesh would be able to increase its self-sufficiency in cotton production. Currently, the country’s cotton production meets only 2-3 percent of the domestic demand and the Bangladesh Cotton Development Board is investing in research with an aim to meet 50 percent of domestic demand by 2021.
 
In 2014, clothing manufacturers in Sri Lanka would aim at exploring and increasing their share in China’s high-end consumer market. The Sri Lankan garment industry has set a target to achieve US$ 5 billion in exports by 2016. In recent years, the Sri Lankan apparel industry has changed significantly from supplier of low-end clothing to manufacturer and exporter of high-end clothing items. The growing demand for high-end apparel in China provides a good market for Sri Lankan apparel.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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